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Denis O’Brien

Denis O’Brien

Chairman and Founder, Digicel

Denis O’Brien is chairman of Digicel Group, a Digital Operator headquartered in Jamaica. He has been chairman of Digicel’s board of directors since 2000.

Mr O’Brien founded Esat Telecom Group in 1991 to compete against the former state-owned telephone company in Ireland, Eircom plc. In October 1997, Esat, of which Mr O’Brien was chairman and chief executive officer, listed on Nasdaq Easdaq and the Iseq establishing itself as the number two telecommunications company across the full spectrum of telecommunications services, fixed-line, GSM mobile, data and internet services and brought real competition and choice to the Irish telecommunications market. Esat Telecom Group plc was sold to British Telecom Group plc in January 2000 for $2.8 billion.

Mr O’Brien was voted Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 in the inaugural running of the worldwide competition organised and sponsored by Ernst & Young. He was also the recipient of a 2007 Business & Finance Award for Business Person of the Year.

Mr O’Brien is also a director of a number of private companies, which hold some of his other business interests including Quinta do Lago SA, and Topaz Energy Group Limited. Mr O’Brien was the chairman of Communicorp Group Limited until 2021, when Bauer Media Group acquired the company. In addition, Mr O’Brien chaired the 2003 Special Olympics Summer Games’ organising committee and now serves as the chairman of Special Olympics Ireland’s Council of Patrons.

Mr O’Brien is a philanthropist who established two foundations, the Iris O’Brien Foundation and the Digicel Foundation. The Digicel Foundation has invested over US$150 million into community development projects across Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr O’Brien holds a BA from University College Dublin, an MBA from Boston College, and he has an honorary Doctorate of Laws from University College Dublin.


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